My Scotland Visit Blog 3: Whisky!

In today's blog, I'll tell you a bit about my whisky experiences in Scotland last week.

One of the first places my brother and I went in Edinburgh, was the Scotch Whisky experience. It was basically a touristic introduction to the whisky making process in Scotland. In fact, I heard it described as MALT Disney.

The tour starts as you sit in a barrel shaped car, and are on ride that shows you the whisky making process.

Then, we saw a panorama-type movie screen with a 5 minute film on the difference styles of Scotch Whisky.

Next we went to a room, where we were given this card.

That card was a Scratch and Sniff card. The smells would be of what the different region's whisky might smell like. For example the Islay smelled like Peat. Eventually after we smelled the card, and were told more about each region, then we were able to taste some whisky from whatever region we wanted.

Then...we were brought into a room that had one of the biggest collections of unopened scotch whisky in the world

It was a nice introduction into Scotch Whisky for us. FYI, in Scotland it's Spelled Whisky....in Ireland it's spelled with an "e" Whiskey. An interesting distinction.

Since Scotland is know for their whiskys, my brother and I visited several distilleries in the country.

Our first was Edradour, once the smallest distilleries in Scotland

We took the tour, and unlike other places we were allowed to take pictures.

So we could see where the Mash was

The Pot Stills.

And even the Barrel room....which smelled really good!

In each location, we were told the process of how they make whisky. FYI, in Scotland they distill it twice, while in Ireland they distill it three times. All the Scotland distilleries said they didn't need a third time because they got it right the second time.

Eventually we were able to have our choice of 2 different tastes.

My brother and I both liked the Ballechin the best, in fact we got a small bottle to enjoy throughout the rest of the trip.

The next distillery on our trip, was the biggest named one we went to.....Glen Livet.

Unfortunately, Glen Livet wouldn't allow us to take pictures along the tour....despite being there at a time they weren't making any whisky. We did get 3 tastes on the tour, the first of which was STRAIGHT from a barrel at the barrel warehouse. Then we got 2 other tastes later. Since my brother was driving, they gave him the option, of putting the 3 tastes in small bottles and take them to go. We thought that was a great idea, especially since there were several distilleries in the area.

Since my brother had his bottles to go, I bought a couple of airline bottles of some of their whisky

Another thing that my brother and I both bought...was a metal measuring item.

Several places we went, would pour the whisky into that before pouring it into your glass. I leaned a quarter against it, so you can get the idea of how small it is...It holds 25ml.

The next distillery we went to was on the Isle of Skye.....Talisker.

Talisker was my favorite distillery of the ones we went to. I liked their whisky the best. In fact, I bought a bottle here in town when I got back.

They allowed us to take pictures inside PART of the distillery.

Those were Talisker's Pot stills. In fact, they told us that the shape of the Pot Still greatly influences the taste of the whisky. Depending on how much surface area there is for the liquid to contact the copper. Later in our trip, we came across this poster of the different Pot stills around the country

We got a taste at Talisker, but they also had a bar, where we could get more....so I ordered a flight of whisky

One of the whiskys I ordered was the one they made for the Game of Thrones series. Talisker made the one for the House Grey Joy. They also sold each of the bottles. Unfortunately I regret not buying one at the distillery.

The next distillery tour we did was at Torabhaig. That distillery was a few minutes away from a ferry we had to take....so we had time to kill...and what better place than a distillery.

The interesting thing about Torabhaig, was that we couldn't try ANY of their whisky! You see they are a relatively new distillery, and in order for it to be called Scotch it has to age in a barrel for at least 3 years. I think their first batch could be released sometime next year.

They said they had invested 50 million dollars in the venture. Can you imagine starting a business where you don't have any money coming in for three years?

We WERE able to get a taste of some whisky of their parent company Mossburn, which is made in a different part of the country, and will have a different taste thatn Torabhaig.

I hope when they start selling their whisky, they'll distruibute to the U.S.

The next distillery we stopped by was Ben Nevis.

Unfortunately, because of our schedule, we got there at 9:30 in the morning, so we couldn't try anything. But we did get some bottles to go.

Ben Nevis had Blended whiskys. The difference between a Single Malt Scotch and a Blended Scotch, is that Single Malts comes ONE distillery. Blended Scotch are from different distilleries. Since several distilleries are owned by the same parent company, they could combine them to make a NEW whisky. I tend to like the single malts better!

The last distillery we went to was Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow. They were another relatively new distillery, so we couldn't try any of their whisky. BUT we were able to get a flight of whisky from around Scotland

You may notice the glass of water with the eyedropper in it.

Those are occasionally served with Scotch whisky, because adding a few drops of water can alter the taste. We told to try the whisky first, than add a couple of drops of water and try it again. And sometimes I could actually tell a difference. I have since bought an eyedropper so I can try it at home.

In the end it was fun to try the different whiskys from around Scotland. I like the peaty ones the best. A couple of other pics I wanted to share....the first is a souvenir I bought...the guinnes world record for smallest bottle of Scotch. (once again using a quarter to show the size)

The last picture I want to share, was of me having a whisky that was appropriate fome to try...since the K in KC stands for Keith

Thanks for reading the blog.

Tomorrow, I'll blog about the castles we visited, including one that was used for several movies!

K.C.-ya!

K.C. Wheeler

K.C. Wheeler

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